Calling All Gardeners

Lee Ann Fields  |  5/23/2018 4:40:45 PM

Have you heard of the Master Gardener program but don’t really know what it is all about? Master Gardeners are people just like you and me who love gardening and have a desire to share their knowledge with others.

The Louisiana Master Gardener program is an LSU AgCenter volunteer service and educational program. The program trains volunteers during a Master Gardener course on various horticulture topics including vegetables, fruits, insects, ornamentals, soils, and lawns to name a few. In exchange for the training, participants complete 40 hours of volunteer service to the LSU AgCenter during their first year by sharing what they have learned with other gardeners.

Objectives of the Louisiana Master Gardener program include:

  • To expand the capacity of the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service to distribute horticultural information to individuals and groups in the community.
  • To develop and enhance community programs related to horticulture. Depending on community needs, these may include environmental-improvement activities, community and school garden programs and public horticultural events.
  • To enhance 4-H Youth Development programs by complementing co-curricular and extracurricular horticultural programs.
  • To maintain and expand a Louisiana Master Gardener volunteer network under the direction of the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service.

Master Gardeners pay back their volunteer commitment in a variety of ways including:

  • Introducing children to gardening through school gardening and Jr. Master Gardener programs.
  • Organizing educational programs and conferences.
  • Creating and maintaining demonstration gardens.
  • Assisting in community vegetable gardens.
  • Helping with classes and plant sales.
  • Assisting in local parish extension offices.
  • Speaking to small groups about various horticulture topics
  • Helping with beautification projects

The Master Gardener program is open to anyone that has a desire to learn and help others. Whether you are a beginner, expert, or somewhere in-between, the program has a spot for you. Applications for the next Louisiana Master Gardener Program are available at the LSU AgCenter Office, 307 N. Homer Street, Ruston, LA. The next class will begin Wednesday, August 22, 2018 and will continue every Wednesday for six weeks. The course is $125 by the July 20, 2018 deadline and $150 after July 20th. This fee covers cost of the manual, speakers and Master Gardener name badge. Limited spaces available.

The Louisiana Master Gardener program is about enriching your life through education, helping others, and creating lifelong friendships with other garden lovers! If you are interested in joining, contact the Lincoln Parish Extension Office at 318-251-5134 or come by the office at 307 N. Homer Street, Ruston, Louisiana.

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